Everything You Need To Know About Canadian Government Contract Jobs
Landing freelance jobs, finding a new career, or looking for contracts for your business can seem overwhelming.
Finding open contracts or looking for areas of need that you could pitch a contract is time-consuming. But narrowing your search parameters makes it easier to find the right contracts and start landing them.
Whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or simply looking for a career change, landing government contract jobs can be a great choice. You’ll get security, a steady income, and the chance to build awareness of your services or business, which can help you land more jobs later on.
If you’re ready to start looking for government contract jobs in Canada, keep reading. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about contract jobs and how to land them!
Knowing What Types of Government Contract Jobs are Available
Before you can start searching for government contract jobs, you need to know what types of jobs are available. If you don’t know for certain that the government is searching for people with your skill set, you may end up wasting your time.
Fortunately, almost any type of skill or product can be leveraged to fit a need in the government.
For instance, if you sell office supplies or furniture, you could target any government office. If you specialize in web design, SEO, or content, you’ll also find a demand in nearly every branch.
Start by considering your skills. If there isn’t an obvious need for them, think of ways that you could improve them, or other specialties that you could learn.
Simple tasks like data entry, writing, or organization are all easy to learn and can be leveraged to meet needs in many different branches of the government.
Where to Search for Open Contract Jobs
Once you’ve narrowed down your skills and decided what branch you plan to target for government contract jobs, it’s time to start searching.
There are several websites that you can start with that will help you find available contracts.
One place that you can search for available Canadian government contract jobs is buyandsell.gc.ca/. This site gives you access to available tenders, or contracts, that allow the government to procure goods or services from non-government workers or businesses.
If you are a business or individual looking to sell products to the government, you’ll want to use this site. It is run by the government, so it lists all goods and services that the government is currently looking for from contractors.
Another great site for finding available contracts with the Canadian government is merx.com.
This site is privately run and lists both federal and provincial open contracts. You can view available contract listings for free, though you’ll have to pay a fee to see the full listing and apply.
But you’ll get access to tons of available contracts that can help narrow your search and make finding the right one easier.
The contracts on each of these sites will be for more than $25,000 if they involve selling products, and $78,500 if they involve selling services.
If you don’t find a government contract that fits your skills or the type of work you’re hoping to do, don’t worry. You can also create your own contract proposal an pitch it to the government and the specific branch that you think you could help with.
How to Land a Government Contract
Once you’ve found an available contract or a need that could be filled by your skills, it’s time to start applying for a contract from the Canadian government.
The first thing that you need to do is figure out how much the contract would be worth.
If your services or products are worth a value of less than $25,000, the government can award a contract without a competitive process.
If the contract is worth more than $25,000, they’ll have to make the contract publicly available. If this is the case, you’ll need to apply for the contract and pitch yourself or your business to the government to try to win the contract.
If you don’t see any available contracts and you are planning to propose one, it’s a good idea to reach out first.
Find a contact within the government branch that you would be working with. Talk to them about what you could offer. If they are interested, it’s a good idea to talk to them about their budget.
If their budget is way too small, the contract may not be worth your time. Even if they have a large budget, think about scaling back what you’re offering to create a contract that is less than $25,000.
If your product or services are unique, it may not be a problem if the contract goes public.
But if you’re a small business or individual in a saturated industry, competition could be bad. Larger businesses may be able to offer similar services for less. More experienced individuals may be able to offer skills and ideas that you don’t have yet.
What You Need to Know About Working with the Government
Once you’ve found a contract that you want to work with, it’s time to start applying.
But before you do, there are a few things that you need to know.
For instance, if you’re a business looking to sell goods or services to the government, your business will need to be registered.
While you can browse for government contract jobs without being registered, you’ll need a Procurement Business Number (PBN) to actually apply. You can only get your PBN if your business is registered.
Another thing you’ll need to know if you’re going to apply for, or pitch, a government contract job is that you’ll need to be prepared to promote yourself.
The process of applying for a government job is more complicated than just filling in an application. The Canadian government has released a list of ways that they suggest individuals and businesses prepare to pitch or apply for contracts.
The list includes things like proving why your product or service is unique, showing any previous contracts you’ve had, or demonstrating how you’ll meet a need within the government.
If you are an individual trying to land a government contract, you might consider creating a small business. This makes it easier to build awareness and land customers and might help prove to the government that you’re serious about your products or services.
If you want to start a small business to use to apply for government contracts, you need to start with a name search. It’ll help you search available names and rule out any that are already taken. This way you can choose a unique name that allows your small business to stand out.
Know Your Tax and Benefits Options
The tax requirements and benefits available to those in contract jobs vary by government branch and position.
For the most part, you contract job won’t come with benefits. If you need these, it’s important to either look for a position that includes them or find ways to fund them through other jobs that you’re working or independently.
You’ll owe income tax at the end of the tax year in which you work the contract job. Because your working as a contractor, and not on payroll, taxes won’t be taken out of your pay for your contract. It’s important to plan ahead for this.
This is also true if you are seeking a contract as a small business. It can be easy to fall into the cycle of spending all the money you make from the contract right away, forgetting that you’ll need to pay tax on that income later on.
Some contracts are one-time deals, while others offer the chance for an extension. If you’re relying on a contract for income, it’s important to talk to the government branch you’re working with about whether an extension may be available at the end.
If you know that it won’t be, you’ll have time to start applying for other contracts before your current one runs out.
Leveraging Your Government Contract Job
Landing a contract with the Canadian government can be a great boost for your career or your small business.
It’s a great addition to a resume and will be an impressive topic the next time you’re applying for a contract or other position.
Having a previous government contract job also opens up more opportunities for government contracts in the future.
Start Landing Government Contract Jobs Today
Government contract jobs are great for individuals and small businesses. They offer steady income and an impressive addition to your business or personal resume.
Plus, with the broad needs of the different government branches, almost anyone with a set of skills can leverage those skills to make themselves fit a unique need in the government.
Now that you know what government contract jobs involve and what it takes to apply for, or pitch, a contract and land it, it’s time to start applying.
If you’re looking for other ways to help your small business grow, check out this list for a few smart ways to help your company grow to success.